28th February 2018 - Label Types

Simple, universal and cost effective, barcode labels capture and communicate information across all aspects of our lives. They tell cashiers in supermarkets how much to charge for the products we buy, track the delivery of valuable packages and ensure our medical records follow us through hospital visits.

How does a barcode work?

In simple terms barcodes organise and visually represent information (like numbers and letters) into a combination of light and dark bars or ‘strings’. Barcode scanners read these lines and translate them into a line of text your computer can understand.

Combine this technology with the versatility of the self adhesive label and the benefits are endless. For instance by scanning the barcode label on your physical medical record, a healthcare professional can access your full medical history.

Why black and white?

Black and white provide the greatest contrast which means scanners can read them easily.

How many types of barcode are there?

There are a variety of barcodes in use globally but they can be divided into two main types;

  • one dimensional (up to 25 characters) the most common is the EAN-13 which is the standard code used across the retail sector
  • two dimensional (up to 2,000 characters) including QR and Datamatrix codes

What are the benefits?

By removing the need for the manual recording of data (and therefore the potential for human error) barcode labels have three principal benefits:

  • Save time
  • Reduce waste
  • Improve efficiency and output

They have more specific benefits in different sectors:

Application Example benefits
Retail Enables automated stock taking and replenishment and detailed sales analysis.
Prices can be instantly updated at the ‘back end’.
Warehousing Enables greater control and accurate recording of inventory both in the warehouse and once it’s been shipped.


Manufacturing Enables the automation and streamlining of many manufacturing processes.
Enables components to be automatically replenished preventing costly delays in production.
Asset management Allows businesses in any sector greater control of their assets from their own stock through to office equipment and business supplies.

Label requirements aren’t black and white

All barcode labels need to be reliable, scannable and durable but beyond that they’ll need to meet the requirements of their specific application.

Do they need to be printed in batches of the same number or follow a sequence? Do they need to endure high or low temperatures or prolonged periods of storage? Could they get wet in transit? Might someone want to tamper with them?

LabelsPlus are specialist suppliers of barcode labels, producing millions of barcode labels every year. We offer a bespoke barcode label service and offer:

  • Available in a range of materials
  • Supplied on rolls, sheets, fans or folded
  • Tear and scratch resistant
  • Temperature proof labels (up to +150C⁰ and down to -40C⁰)
  • A range of finishing options include lamination and varnishing
  • Expertise in global barcode requirements including worldwide barcode symbologies
  • Tamper resistant/evident labels
  • Multi part labels
  • Support for barcode registration with GS1.org including producing graphical versions, testing and printing adhesive barcode labels.

Find out how LabelsPlus can help with your barcode label requirements.

Call us on +44 (0) 1663 736250.